“Mom, be brave.”

Taking deep shallow breaths, I find the concept to be inconceivable, almost laughable except I feel a bit like crying.

The gentle sway of the harness pulls as the platform beneath my feet gives way and I feel myself take flight.

Tentative, adolescent fingers grab onto mine as we slowly rise. I look at my son’s profile and see the delight that fills his face. Wind tousles his hair and a grin slowly emerges.

All I can feel is fear.

“Bravery is not a quality of the body. It is of the soul.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi


Honestly you would think I would learn. I am not a fan of heights. This is a secret to no one yet each time my son asks me to tempt the fate of aerodynamics, I acquiesce.

To be sure, Scott would be a willing and active participant in all of Ryan’s adventures and yet there he sits on the safety of the boat below, watching. Perhaps with glee. He keeps his emotions in check so it is a thought that I am never quite clear about.

“See, you are doing it, Mom. Isn’t this fun? Mom? Mom, you have to open your eyes or you will miss the best parts.”

It comes upon me now in my quietest moments, that it is possible that Ryan didn’t always choose me because he enjoyed my discomfort. Well yes there is that.


Scott is always brave. With his father, Ryan didn’t have the opportunity to test his mettle. He would be the one to be reassured. The less brave of the two.

But with me …. well he could grow his courage. Even if he was a little afraid, he had the ability to master it for my sake.

It is, as if, the world was aware that there would come a time when bravery, courage and strength would be required from both of us.

Where fear lives, we must go.

I open my eyes and look down. Ryan, you are right. The views are breathtaking.